Items filtered by date: Sunday, 05 March 2017

Sunday Morning Glynden Road Structure Fire

We have a report of a structure fire at 6 a.m. Sunday morning in the Spartansburg area of Crawford County.  911 tracking site reports the call at 6:01 am for a residence at 41922 Glynden Road.  Public address records show that address to be the residence of William and Kathryn Byler.  


I'm your grandson. I'm in jail. I need money.

A 78 year old Venango County woman is apparently the victim of a very typical kind of phone scam.  The Franklin state police report Marie Rodgers of 1082 Old Petroleum Center Road received a phone call Friday afternoon about 12:30.  Police say the caller was an unknown male identifying himself as Rodgers' grandson.  The man said he was involved in an accident and was put in jail and needed a payment in the amount of $2000 to pay an attorney to prevent the matter from going on a criminal record.  The caller told Rodgers to obtain four Wal-Mart gift cards in the amount of $500 each and call a phone number he provided of the attorney.  Rodgers called the attorney and was asked to read the gift card numbers over the phone.  Late original caller phoned Rodgers again and related he needed another $3000 for fines.  Rodgers related to the man she had no more money and the man hung up.  


Trucker Jailed on Scrubgrass Twp DUI

A sobered up Colorado truck driver is lodged in the Venango County Jail on $10,000 bail charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.  The Franklin state police say at shortly after 8:15 Saturday morning they were notified 34 year old Jesse Luke Colpitts of Loveland, Colorado, was allegedly erratically driving of a flatbed tractor trailer traveling east on Interstate 80 near mile marker 42 in Scrubgrass Township Venango County.  The troopers found the truck and pulled it over.  After stopping the truck, police determined Colpitts displayed signs of impairment and containers of alcoholic beverages were observed in the cab of the truck.  An investigation showed Colpitts was DUI and was arrested.  He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Andrew Fish.  Police say additional charges are pending lab results.  


Motorcyclists Encouraged to Take Free Courses, Start Riding Season Safely

Harrisburg, PA – With the approach of warmer temperatures and the motorcycle riding season in Pennsylvania, PennDOT is urging riders of all ages to prepare by taking a free motorcycle training course. These courses are available to Pennsylvania residents throughout the commonwealth through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP).


Free courses for novice through seasoned riders are offered at numerous locations statewide to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner’s permit or motorcycle license. All training courses are conducted on a riding range, under the supervision of certified instructors.


“Keeping skills sharp and reinforcing the importance of safety through Pennsylvania’s free motorcycle safety classes help both novice and experienced riders enjoy a safe and enjoyable riding season,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Riders can practice and refine their techniques while honing the split-second decision making required to safely operate a motorcycle.” 


For inexperienced riders seeking a license for the first time, PAMSP offers a five-day, 15-hour licensing course called the Basic Rider Course (BRC).  This course consists of five hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding, provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed. Students taking the BRC are provided with a motorcycle and helmet; however, students are responsible for providing all other protective gear. Act 84 of 2012 put into place the requirement that all permit holders under the age of 18 successfully complete the BRC in order to receive their motorcycle license. 


More experienced riders who have held a permit for an extended period and already have a motorcycle, may take a one-day, six-hour licensing course - the Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC2).  The course is also recommended for skilled riders who want to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills.  Students taking the BRC2 must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear.


The Advanced Rider Course (ARC), is a one-day training session modeled after a military training course, which offers licensed motorcyclists a chance to enhance their safety skills through a minimum of 3.5 hours of classroom instruction and 4.5 hours of practical riding experience designed to enhance riding attitude and awareness.  Participants in the advanced course are required to use their own motorcycle.


Rounding out the PAMSP training courses is the 3-Wheeled Motorcycle Basic Rider Course (3WBRC), a 12-hour course comprised of four hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of practical riding. Students must provide their own three-wheeled motorcycle and protective gear.


Motorcycle learner’s permit holders who successfully complete the BRC, BRC2 or the 3WBRC will be issued a motorcycle license. Those who successfully pass the 3WBRC on a three-wheeled motorcycle will be issued a motorcycle license with a “9” restriction, meaning they are prohibited from operating a two-wheeled motorcycle.



For more information or to enroll in a course, visit or call 1-800-845-9533.  Potential riders looking for a convenient way to prepare for their knowledge test can download the PA Motorcycle Practice Test app by visiting and searching the mobile apps for the Pennsylvania Motorcycle License Practice Test, or by using the App Store (Apple devices) or Google Play (Android devices). A copy of the Motorcycle Operators Manual can be downloaded for free at


Pennsylvania’s New Wildlife Action Plan Approved

HARRISBURG, PA - An updated blueprint for continued management and protection of Pennsylvania’s fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

This revision updates the 2005 Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan that has guided management of the Commonwealth’s troubled wildlife for the past 10 years. The approved 2015-2025 Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan ensures the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) remain eligible for federal funding through the State Wildlife Grant Program.

“The Service is confident that the Plan will yield great benefits for the conservation of Pennsylvania’s fish and wildlife resources,” said James W. Kurth, USFWS Deputy Director for Operations. “We look forward to working with you as you implement it.”

Using the best available science, the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission coordinated the congressionally-required 10-year update of the Commonwealth’s existing wildlife action. Also contributing technical expertise to this reorganized and updated plan were federal and other state agencies, conservation organizations and several universities, including a small army of affiliated biologists and other professionals. Administered by both commissions, this plan is a road map for all Pennsylvanians interested in wildlife conservation.

“Our new plan keeps us on the course we charted for wildlife conservation a decade ago,” emphasized R. Matthew Hough, Game Commission executive director. “But making progress and protecting imperiled species in the face of mounting development and environmental problems will not be easy. It will take a greater commitment from more Pennsylvanians and more funding for wildlife to stay the course.

“Pennsylvania now finds itself in a conservation conundrum: the state’s resource agencies are in trouble financially,” explained Hough. “Although this plan outlines how best to help our species of greatest conservation need and prevent species from becoming endangered, resource agencies will need teamwork from the public and legislative assistance to ensure we can stay as proactive as we must.”

PFBC Executive Director John Arway added that “this plan builds upon the strong foundation and many collaborative efforts under the first plan. Implementing this plan will continue to advance our knowledge of Pennsylvania’s species and their habitats so we can develop the most informed management recommendations to secure species now and for the future.

"The plan will produce benefits for all fish and wildlife species that occupy similar habitats,” he added. “For example, improving wetlands to support bog turtles will benefit base flows in adjacent streams which support native fish species like Brook Trout.

"We live in a dynamic environment and this plan is our guide for conservation in the years ahead.”

In evaluating the Pennsylvania plan, reviewers noted it was a step forward for Pennsylvania.

“The end result is an improvement over Pennsylvania’s 2005 Plan, as the new plan will serve as an updated blueprint for implementing the conservation of Pennsylvania’s … fauna and natural habitats through the conservation actions of Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and Pennsylvania Game Commission, their partners, and the communities and individuals of the state.”

The review team included Colleen Sculley, a regional chief in the USFWS’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and David Whitehurst, director of the Bureau of Wildlife Resources in the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VADGIF) with technical assistance from Dee Blanton (USFWS) and Chris Burkett (VADGIF).

Since 2000, when enacting legislation established the State Wildlife Grant Program, Pennsylvania has received about $29 million, matched by $17 million in non-federal funding, and invested it in more than 100 projects with conservation partners. In recent years the Commonwealth has received about $1.5 million annually – shared equally between the Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission – to protect and recover imperiled species, such as bald eagles and ospreys, and their habitats. Funds also have helped fund numerous projects providing crucial information on species distribution and populations for everything from northern flying squirrels to Atlantic sturgeon contributing greatly to an improved understanding of their status and management needs. It also has helped fund regional investigations of white-nose syndrome and development of the state’s second atlas of breeding birds.

The wildlife action plan, through its ongoing efforts to conserve species of greatest conservation need, also substantially influences the welfare of other wildlife. It truly is helping to keep common native species common by guiding habitat management and other vital conservation actions. It plays a significant role in sustaining wildlife health and diversity.

The plan, which included public input during the revision process, outlines which wildlife species face a considerable uphill battle and what actions we can take to help them right their populations. Some require government initiatives. Others, local or property owner involvement. But there are plenty of species in need of help, and many recommendations on how people can get involved. The plan offers its vision on how people who care about wildlife can advance conservation through local, state and national programs and projects, and works hard to raise awareness of the problems wildlife faces.

The plan offers insight and comprehensive guidance on how best to tackle the problems of Pennsylvania’s 664 species of greatest conservation need, a list comprised of including 90 birds, 19 mammals, 65 fishes, 22 reptiles, 18 amphibians and 450 terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates.


To learn more about the Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan, and its significant role in conservation, as well as State and Tribal Wildlife Grant projects within Pennsylvania, visit the Game Commission’s website at and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s website at


Bring Us a Shrubbery!

While it might be winter, landowners can begin making plans to help wildlife this spring – and beyond – by planting tree and shrub seedlings offered by the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Howard Nursery. 

The 2017 seedling order form is available online. 

Most seedlings are sold in units of 25, but 100-seedling bundles also are available in mixes to benefit deer and birds, as well as to improve riparian and winter-thermal habitats. 

The 2017 order form contains a wide selection of evergreens, shrubs and fruit- and nut-bearing trees, most of which are native to Pennsylvania and collected from Pennsylvania sources. 

There are many new offerings this year. Two of them – ninebark and sycamore – have never been offered before. 

Ninebark is a native shrub that grows to 10-foot heights and blossoms with nectar-laden flowers and fruits that are eaten by many species of birds. A pack of 25 seedlings is available for $13.50. Meanwhile, the fast-growing and extremely tolerant sycamore reaches heights of 80 to 120 feet when mature. A pack of year-old seedlings is available for $9.50. 

Additionally, several other tree species that weren’t offered for sale in 2016 – including arborvitae, American highbush cranberry, black chokeberry, red osier dogwood, white oak, serviceberry – are back on the 2017 order form. 

And four specially-packaged bundles of 100 seedlings are designed to improve habitat in areas along waterways (Riparian Bundle), create thermal cover to protect wildlife in winter (Winter Thermal Bundle), create food and cover for birds (Bird Bundle) or provide for deer (Deer Food Bundle). 

Brian D. Stone, manager at Howard Nursery, said Riparian Bundles might sell especially quickly this year due to a state Department of Environmental Protection Growing Greener grant to provides for water-quality improvement. 

Many of the seedlings offered for sale can be purchased at a discounted price.

Although a discount is not offered for all species or habitat bundles, orders of 12 or more total units qualify for applicable discounted pricing. With the discount, prices are as low as $4.50 per unit, or 18 cents per seedling. 

Species that qualify for the discount are marked on the order form. 

Stone said those who are interested might want to call Howard Nursery at 814-355-4434. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Orders can be placed by telephone, as well. If you have difficulty ordering online, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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